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McDonald’s Big Mac Snapped up in China, a MacCoin Hyped Up To 800 Yuan

Starting August 6 in China, a MacCoin, a physical token which is given away with the purchase of a Big Mac, has been hyped up to 800 yuan (US$117) for sale on a second-hand goods site affiliated to online retail giant Taobao, and the price still keeps rising.

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MacCoins for sale on Xian Yu (a second-hand goods site)

In celebration of the Big Mac’s 50th anniversary, McDonald’s is giving away its own currency – MacCoin. Though it has a bitcoin-like air, the coin is simply a physical token that can be used to redeem the fast-food giant’s iconic burger in any store around the world. It is in essence a coupon, but a shiny collectible one having nothing to do with blockchain.

According to its official announcement, there are 6.2 million MacCoins being sent out to the thousands of McDonald’s restaurants around the world. Once it is launched in China on August 6, eager people there are acting fast. It is reportedly not easy to get a coin if you directly walk into a McDonald’s restaurant as supply at each location is limited.

Confronted with the overwhelmed popularity, CEO of McDonald’s China Zhang Jiayin said, “More than 1 million MacCoins will be distributed at over 2,500 locations in mainland China while supplies last.”

Although she has repeatedly stressed “MacCoin is the world’s first food-backed collectible coin with no cash value. Unlike cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, MacCoin is a physical token”, as of press time, the market price of a MacCoin has spiked more than 30 times, far exceeding the price of a Big Mac which only costs 20 yuan in the country.

It is notable that the coffee giant Starbuck was also recently involved in the nascent crypto industry. Earlier this month, it dropped major hint at plans to accept bitcoin as it announced Bakkt for developing crypto use in a joint venture with Intercontinental Stock Exchange, BCG and Microsoft. While soon the company made clarification that it is not accepting digital assets at Starbucks.

Apart from them, Burger King has also waded into the crypto space with the launch of its own version of bitcoin called WhopperCoin in Russia. With each purchase of the burger chain’s iconic Whopper sandwich, customers can receive WhopperCoin tokens via a digital wallet.

The crypto frenzy indeed drives all parties to embrace it including those catering giants. This is, of course, a marketing strategy to instill bitcoin-like concept with excitement in the catering industry. While what they issued are practical coins that isn’t some blockchain scam that will surge and fall within seconds. Instead, they are multi-billion-dollar corporations’ attempt at being culturally relevant.

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